Friday, April 18, 2008

April 9th: Day 2--Sayd Had No Clue

The big rain of the night before had dried up, but the winds had not died down, no not at all. BIG cross winds steadily gusting in the 20's. Wind chill in the morning was in the low-mid 30's but warmed nicely to the hi 40's, maybe even lo 50's by the time I hit Paxton.

Saw some herons and hawks today, along with several deer, and several team of dogs who came out to greet me. My strategy is to befriend them. With the weight I'm carrying and the wind not at my back I certainly can't out ride them. So, I just tell them they're good dogs, they're doing a good job and I'm glad to see them. So far (and I'm now in Huntsville, AL and a veteran of many dog encounters)that has been an effective strategy bringing them either to a halt in their tracks, or warm tongues of social greeting.

Sayd runs the Paxton Inn. He had truly never seen the likes of me guesting at his Inn. He wanted to know if I had stayed at a private hotel the night before when in Manteno. I had no clue what a private hotel was. Well, a private hotel, he told me, is one operated by a private individual, like him, not one run by by a chain. Between you and me, given a choice, I'll take the chained variety any day. This was quite a humble abode, but it was warm, dry, and on the route.

Sayd wanted to know what I thought about all the time while I was riding. I told him I just tried to stay open to the Holy Spirit and to discern how best I could live my life accordingly. He just looked at me with that, "What are you talking about look." I tried again. I told him it was a celebration ride, a ride to celebrate health, recovery, and gratitude for all the gifts of people and healing that had been given me over the last years. He smiled thoughtfully and said, "I don't know what you are saying." (English was not an issue; he was as fluent as I). So, finally I said, you know, I just use my riding time as time to pray. Those were at least words he understood, but I still don't think he had a clue.

Hinduism and Christianity are not that far apart, but Sayd and I were apart by canyons.

The miles from Manteno to Paxton were corn and bean field holy, but the municipalities along the way were humble, indeed. Loda, for example,(a town of 420) had its Township Council Meeting the night I was passing through. The Meeting Agenda was posted on the front door of the Town Hall. That night there would be an Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, New Business (none) and Old Business (none). But, I'm sure they would be glad to see one another.

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